Song of Surrender

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Remembering a loved one—with music

By Samudri

We are all familiar with brothers or sisters performing together as Carnatic musicians on stage, even father-son duos or father-son-daughter trios, but JA Jayanth and his grandfather TS Sankaran make for a rare grandfather-grandson flautist combination in the kutcheri scene. Jayanth is also a disciple of his grandfather, who was a sishya of the incomparable TR Mahalingam. The youngster, who has completed his engineering education, has been growing steadily in prowess and popularity as a concert artist accompanied by his grandfather.

Here is an excerpt from what we wrote about him in the Sruti blog:

“Today a promising young concert musician, Jayanth has received much praise not only for his knowledge and creativity but also his fingering and blowing technique, which enables him to switch smoothly between the normal and bass varieties of the instrument. Jayanth also has a keen understanding of raga swaroopa and sensitive feel for the lyrics of the kritis he plays. Jayanth was barely four when his late grandmother vidushi VS Sundari gave him his first music lessons. His grandfather started him on flute learning when he was five, embracing him in a particularly warm guru-sishya relationship.”

On 7 July, 2013, Jayanth’s family held a lovely remembrance concert in memory of VS Sundari in the intimate space of Arkay Convention Centre, Mylapore, Chennai, by violinist Kanyakumari, accompanied by her disciple Rajiv (violin), Patri Satish Kumar (mridangam) and BS Purushottam (khanjira). The event was tastefully organised by Jayanth’s parents TS Jayaram and Jeyshree and brother JV Jaykishan, who had placed a life-like statuette of the late vidushi on the stage.

There’s an intriguing tale behind the initials JA and JV of the two brothers. Sankaran, a staunch patriot, contributed them as a tribute to leaders he admires. The ‘A’ in Jayanth’s name denotes Ambedkar, and the ‘V’ in Jaykishan’s is a reference to Vivekananda.

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